Undefeated team improves to 28-0 in first April game

GVL Archive / Andrew Mills
Senior Darylann Trout has been victorious 20 times in a row in singles.

GVL Archive / Andrew Mills Senior Darylann Trout has been victorious 20 times in a row in singles.

Jon Adamy

After almost a month without playing another team, the Grand Valley State University women’s tennis team got back to doing what it has done best this season — winning.

The Lakers improved to a perfect 28-0 on the season after crushing Hope College 9-0 on Friday. GVSU’s strong play has been backed by strong results in the singles games, as several Lakers have double-digit singles streaks. Senior Darylann Trout extended her streak to 20 singles match in a row while freshmen Lexi Rice and Anne Morin have won 14 and 11 matches in a row, respectfully.

While most tennis teams have a conference tournament in the spring, the GLIAC championship is held in the fall. The difference in scheduling led to a one month break in competition for the Lakers.

Trout was undeterred and said she likes the way the schedule works out for the team, even if it means having a long break before the start of national competition.

“We get an extended season when these other teams barely even play a match or two in the fall, and we’re playing all year round,” Trout said. “I think it’s an advantage to us because we’re playing almost twice as much as the other teams.”

GVSU head coach John Black said while the team started out a little slow against Hope, they quickly returned to form. The team has only two more matches scheduled before the start of the National Championships.

“We’ve been practicing pretty much non-stop,” Black said. “We just need to get a couple matches in before nationals to get us back in that mindset of playing at 100 percent from the first point of the match onwards.”

Senior Chelsea Johnston said it was nice for the team to have a chance to rest during its time off from competition and they were confident going into the match against Hope after practicing singles and doubles matches during the week.

“I personally didn’t feel rusty because we’ve had practice for the past few weeks, but it was definitely different playing other people,” she said. “I think it helped to get out there and play a match, and even if they weren’t the toughest competition it was nice to get back in the competing mindset again.”

Black said his team’s goal is to make it to the finals in the national championships and play their best tennis against tough opponents. In his seven years at GVSU, he said he believes this year’s team to be his best.

“From top to bottom this is the strongest team that we’ve ever had here,” Black said. “We’ve had teams that might have had a better doubles player or a stronger singles player, but this is the deepest team in that on a given day, the last person team could beat the best person on the team.”

The Lakers will return to action on Wednesday when they travel to Calvin College for a 4 p.m. matchup.

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